UK based scientists have revealed that men can be more vindictive than women when it comes to taking revenge. While women generally feel empathy when they feel slighted, men are more bent upon revenge. The results of the study were published in the Nature journal. The University College researchers conducted the study, which proves that the sex of the person plays a prominent role when it comes to seeking revenge.
Volunteers who were offended were studied as a part of the experiment. An investment game was played by 32 subjects along with four actors, of whom two behaved in a stingy manner and another two played a fair game. The actors who played an unfair game were disliked by both the female and male volunteers, and this was openly displayed during the breaks in the game.
A questionnaire had to be filled up by the volunteers at the end of the game, which showed that all the volunteers uniformly disliked the actors who were perceived to have played an unfair game. After the game, the actors were subjected to mild electric shocks, and the and it was found that the women participants felt empathy for both the fair and unfair actors, while men displayed greater activity in their brain's nucleus accumbens, which showed that they derived pleasure from the suffering of the people whom they perceived as cheats.
The participants were not aware that the perceived cheats were actors who were only playing their role. This behavior is also seen to have played an important role in society's evolution, and also having contributed towards its stability. The researchers speculate that men play a greater role in enforcing justice in a society. The study also showed that when a person watches the suffering of a person whom he likes, the impact is felt by him also.